Text description provided by the architects. The original space was a bare industrial space in Shanghai downtown reconverted into a commercial building. Our unit has a floor area of 500m2 and a clear height of 6m what gave us the opportunity to build a mezzanine and add an extra 250m2. The program had to incorporate the central offices and showroom of a local high-end fashion brand. We decided to use the mezzanine as showroom and keep the ground floor for office use. The geometry of the mezzanine that is winding through the original structure shapes the distribution of programs underneath. The mezzanine is hanging from the concrete columns with sloped surfaces, creating a series of differentiated spaces in its underbelly: double height spaces, high spaces with sloped ceilings, low ceiling areas and closed boxes. Each space will be designated to a different team (design, production, retail, sales). The CEO and CFO offices as well as the meeting room will have a glass and wood partition towards the open plan for privacy. The mezzanine is sculpted in the underbelly and touches the floor shaping 3 denim boxes that hold the sample rooms, printing room, equipment room and the stairs.
The outer skin of the volume of the mezzanine is cladded with a black denim paneling. The black denim brings back the architecture to the identity of the brand, as well as controls the acoustics of the space. The geometry of the new construction relates to the cutting-edge design of the brand, reading their modernity into colors, patterns and triangulated shapes, on the other hand the use of natural materials as the reclaimed wood will bring back the design to the quality of the natural materials used in the production of their garments.
The crossed perspectives through the different openings under the mezzanine and to the exposed original concrete structure through the double height spaces define a working methodology where all the resources are shared. Some sculptural lamps and a dramatic hanging reception desk will be the focus accent of the design. The upper part of the mezzanine is a balcony overlooking the working space and contains the main showroom.
The lighting becomes more of a pattern in the space through the linear LED lights embedded in the denim panels and metal bands uplighting the original concrete beams. The workstations are linear benches that enhance flexibility and transparency.